Thursday, June 6, 2013

Beans, Beans, the Wonderful Fruit! PAR Davies 6/5/13


Another fabulous day. We did so many things that I know I'm going to leave something out. Our team was: Sally, John, G.A., Craig, Greg, Jamie, Susan, Mary Elizabeth, Lauren, Randy Williams (first timer) and myself. We harvested cabbage, red onion beauties, more garlic scapes in addition to beginning the garlic harvest, chard and herbs of basil and parsley. We should be able to finish up the cabbage next week.

Some of our harvest waiting to be weighed

Everything is looking good and WE HAVE BABY TOMATILLOS! The tomatoes look good. Still there is the vole problem that seems to be devastating our potato crop (except for the towers). The traps in the box were sprung but they are smart critters as they did not get caught. Susan placed 3 traps baited with peanut butter and oatmeal. I wonder….

G.A. and Jamie worked hard on the irrigation system. I think their salary should be double of what everyone else gets, but G.A. said "no extra charge." We ladies especially appreciate you guys handling this, as it is something we just don't want to get involved with (unless absolutely necessary.) Thanks guys.

Jamie and G.A. our irrigation system experts

We got some planting done, too. G.A. brought Purple Hull Pea seeds and planted a whole bed full next to the lovely sweet potato bed. Craig, Randy and Greg caged most of the rest of the pepper plants in addition to pulling out the pea vines. Craig and Randy planted 3 varieties of cucumbers in Bed 12 where the peas were. Sally and Lauren suckered the tomatoes and tied unruly vines escaping from the cages. The tomatillos were also secured better in the cages. Susan harvested the cabbage and checked for bugs, and then planted more bush beans. Greg mulched the okra. Mary Elizabeth brought some more 'yellow snacking peppers' and planted them along with the peanut plants. John pulled out the kale among other chores. Many other jobs were completed, but I can't remember who all did what.
SQUASH: The squash under cover is still uncertain. I think next week we will uncover the yellow squash so it can be pollinated. I believe the stems will be tough enough to resist the vine borer, and we will just have to watch for the squash bugs. The self-pollinating (parthenocarpic) zucchini supposedly don't need the bees. We will keep it covered up for a while yet to see if we get some sizable zucchini.

BOXES IN THE BARN: I found two boxes of miscellaneous items left in the barn. I don't know who these belong to. Could you please check with us before dropping things off, because we are trying to de-clutter the barn. We are not supposed to have a lot of things sitting on the floor. The boxes contain all garden items, so anyone who wants to go through the boxes and get that they want, please do. I will leave them there another week, and then they will be discarded.

FAVA BEAN COOKING DEMO: I picked some fava beans today that were big and plump, and took home to prepare. Below is what the beans look like inside the pod.

The beans were then cooked for about 5 minutes in salted water and immediately plunged into ice water.

Then the actual beans that you eat were removed from their soft outer shell, and yielded a little over one-third cup.

Then the cool beans were sautéed in a little butter. It seems like a lot of work, but the beans are so big that it doesn't take many beans to make a serving. I will say these are THE BEST beans I have ever tasted. And no, I didn't have Chianti with them. The remaining beans in the garden will be left on to dry for seeds. I believe we should be able to have a larger crop in the fall.

Sauteed fava beans

REMINDER: No Saturday workday because of Through Our Garden Gates.  Hope to see you there!

'Til next week,


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